Tonawanda News

Opinion

February 14, 2013

When over-reaction, isn't

Tonawanda News — It’s different, as a parent.

I’ve worked in the newspaper business for 16 years. For a good chunk of that time, I’ve dealt a lot with schools and education, and by extention, with issues of safety and preparedness. 

I was an education reporter at my first full time journalism job in April 1999, during the Columbine shootings. I stood in the newsroom and watched video coverage of students running from the school, and I knew that things had changed forever.

There were threats at local schools, after that. Nothing ever came to pass. Presumably, officials told me, kids found out that spreading such rumors meant a day off school. (Most of those students also eventually found out it wasn’t such a good idea, after all.) We wrote about safety and what schools were doing and what could happen here.

Years passed. Things changed some more. There were incidents, but none of them here, and they didn’t register as anything other than a word to the wise to any district that might be lax in its safety standards.

I didn’t deal with the schools so much, those days — at least not as a reporter. 

I was in another newsroom, here at the Tonawanda News, in December when the first news started coming in about Sandy Hook. (I first learned over text message, this time, as opposed to the breaking news banner on the TV. A sign of the times, indeed.) 

I have kids now. It was a kick in the stomach. I watched the news trickle in, and it wasn’t just news this time. I cried, that day — I have no problem admitting it — and I had a hard time letting my sons go off to school when next Monday rolled around. I did it anyway. Such is life.

Text Only
Opinion
  • duvall, eric.jpg DUVALL: On reading and the lack thereof It was surprising to me a few weeks ago when a friend asked a group of us to estimate how many books we have each read over the last five years. The English teacher said 200 and he far and away led the pack. I was probably the median and my number was 20-25.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • confer, bob.jpg CONFER: A Con-Con would be a con game

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • duvall, eric.jpg DUVALL: Conflict in Ukraine now a concern of global proportions It seems increasingly clear Ukrainian separatists, with the help from the Russian military, are responsible for the tragedy. They, of course, have denied it. They've also denied access to the crash site to international investigators seeking to recover the dead and determine what happened. That's not something the innocent party does.

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • ADAMCZYK: Personal development, rendered in steel Accepting the premise that everyone needs to fill the same amount of time every day (24 hours, every day), some people use theirs rebuilding things, tangible things, and thus fulfill a few intangible goals.

    July 18, 2014

  • WALLACE: Festival season is underway Summer is the season of fairs and festivals. From Canal Fest in the Tonawandas to the Allentown Art Festival and Italian Heritage Festival in Buffalo to the Erie County Fair in Hamburg, the Western New York area has no shortage of things to do with the family over the summer.

    July 17, 2014

  • duvall, eric.jpg DUVALL: King George's abdication leaves many questions I've covered Niagara County politics for 10 years and it's been a fascinating -- and often infuriating -- experience. With the news the man known with equal parts respect and cynicism as "King George" is walking away it's about to get more interesting.

    July 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Canal Fest, here we come This column should be titled "Roads and Streets." First of all, Meadow Drive is finally open. Although it took very long to be completed, it's beautiful. Riding by the other day brought into focus how many people will use this to cut across town. One less thing for residents to complain about.

    July 12, 2014

  • ADAMCZYK: Homesick for someplace I've never been You stumble over things that make you wonder. I do, at least, and the latest is one of those advertising artifacts from yesteryear that encourage me to ponder what's changed and what never will.

    July 11, 2014

  • WALLACE: Playing politics as usual The immigration crisis is just the most recent example of how dysfunctional Washington, D.C. is right now.

    July 10, 2014

  • duvall, eric.jpg A stunning scandal in Mississippi-voting|DUVALL: A stunning scandal in Mississippi We don't tend to talk a whole lot about Mississippi on this paper's editorial page and for good reason. It's a long way away in both distance and temperament. But I swear this will be worth it.

    July 9, 2014 1 Photo